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A Little Life In The Stock Market Today

Today the stock market had a little life in it. Gaining 75 points to start off the week after a dismal performance during the last three weeks. The DOW has been doing outstanding holding on to this level of 16,000-17,000 points. The question is though…How much longer will this last???

There is too much turmoil going on in America as well as around the world for the DOW to even be at this level. So why is the DOW and the other indexes doing so well?

This is an election year which will play a factor in the performance of the markets. Politics plays one of the biggest roles in what happens on Wall Street. Laws that are written, wars that are waged along with the money being printed by the Federal Reserve can and will cause the DOW to skyrocket or plummet. With all the crap going on, I’m surprised the DOW isn’t at the 10,000 or lower range.

I read an article the other day written by someone who is an stock analyst claiming the DOW should be be around 10,000-11,000 range. The assistance coming from Ben Bernake and friends in the form of the never-ending-printing-machine have made our dollars weak which in return will cause the market to be higher than it should be. Last week the Federal Reserve announced the reduction of quantitative easing. In doing so, expect interest rates to start rising. If your were thinking of buying a home or more property for an investment, I suggest you do it real soon before rates go up.

If your are one of the many people who have gone back in the stock market, either in your 401K or you’re doing your own trading, I recommend pulling back, moving more of your investment into commodities like gold, silver and other hard assests or getting the hell out completely. There’s only so much stress on anything before it snaps.

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Getting Started In The Stock Market

Why you should invest in the stock market? Simple, financial freedom. What other investment form can you start off with $500 and possibly turn it in to millions. It’s a story you heard of 1000’s of times before.

You don’t have to open a corporation, have accounts and spend $1000 of dollars to open a store front, no products to buy, no employees to hire. You simple open an account with an Investment broker and you’re on your way. But what stocks to buy? First, knowledge is power, read, read & read. There are so many investment books out there to choose from. I would say three books on learning growth stocks, three on learning earnings reports and three on learning charting. The reason I suggest three books is that it will give you a few different views in each area and from the three of them you’ll be able to put your own winning strategies together.

After you read all the books you may find that you excel in one of them better then the others, for me it was the charting. It was like wow I can see it. What a turn on to look at a chart and say this company is going up or down in just a couple of minutes. It’s a feeling I would like all of you to have and once that happened for me I went out and got as many books on charting as I could find.

I have a friend who can read an earnings report as well as I can read charts. It’s amazing to see him work as he runs through the numbers like a machine. I came to the conclusion that everyone has their own strengths and weakness’. So after you read all the books, whichever one turns you on the most, consider on buying as many books as you can (or go to the library). I love the market and I hope you will to.

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Stock Market Info: Facebook Page

I just created a facebook page for Beating The Stock Market, and our network of investing sites. Check it out! If you have a stock market website, feel free to share your best articles and links. See you there!

Stock Market 101

Promote Your Page Too

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Roth IRA Benefits

The Roth IRA basics outline the important and critical information that you must gain knowledge of, particularly if you plan making contributions to this retirement plan by this year. Distinct from a traditional IRA, funds placed to a Roth IRA are considered not tax-deferrable. Distributions are commonly free from tax, but not at all times and not without specific regulations.

Roth IRA Advantages
There are various advantages integrated with a Roth IRA. One of its unique benefits over a traditional IRA is that there are less distribution restrictions and regulations. Withdrawal transactions within the Roth account to include dividends, capital gains, as well as interest do not acquire current tax liability.

Your direct contributions to a Roth retirement plan may be taken out of your account free from tax any time. Converted, rollover contributions prior to reaching the age of 59 ½ kept in this account may be withdrawn penalty and tax free following the seasoning period of 5 years.

The Roth IRA basics confer the Roth IRA distinction against the traditional IRA. Withdrawals in a traditional Individual Retirement Account will automatically incur tax as ordinary income, while a penalty will be incurred by distributions carried out prior to reaching 59 ½ years of age. If your funds in the Roth IRA came from conversion from a traditional IRA, you will be permitted to withdraw up to the entirety of the converted amount without having to pay any penalty, provided that the “seasoning period” (which is a five-year term) has already passed on the converted contributed funds.

Knowing the Roth IRA benefits will help you take advantage of the opportunity to withdraw up to $10,000 in account earnings that will be considered tax-free (see IRA tax deductions), particularly if you utilize the funds to buy and own a principal residence. Early IRA withdrawals also do not come with taxes and penalties if you use the money for medical expenses not payable by your insurance, or for paying college expenditures of your children.

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Which Stocks Does Your Mutual Fund Hold?

Mutual fund holdings are vital information to fund investors when evaluating a manager’s performance as reported. Without knowing what a fund’s holdings are, investors can neither fully appreciate why a manager has performed well, nor can they thoroughly come to grasp about any poor results. Even if a fund is doing ok, investors may decide that the fund investments are overlapping with their other portfolios or not in line with their own investing goals and want to relocate the money elsewhere. But without access to a set of complete information on a fund’s portfolio, investors are basically kept in the dark and can’t decide for themselves on any of those personal investment decisions.

What Does the Law Require
By law, mutual funds are required to release complete portfolio holdings only twice a year. For actively managed funds, in the interim of 6 months, their holdings could have been turned over many times and the information at investors’ hands can never be real time, live feeds, considering today’s online technology has made instant exchange of information nothing but possible. In fact, the decades-old securities law enacted such a rule because of the concern that fund companies couldn’t afford to mail out a report every day.

Objection to Frequent Portfolio Disclosure
Chief concern among mutual fund companies is that timely portfolio updates of fund holdings can tip off their intentions to the market. It may cause potential front run on a fund where other traders can buy shares ahead of the fund and drive up prices, while the fund is still taking the time to build up positions in a stock. But supporters of full, on-time publication of portfolio holdings argue that the hidden reason why funds are reluctant to do anything beyond what the law requires is that managers might be concerned about revealing questionable trading practice in any disclosure. Funds do a lot of window-dressing trading close to quarter end to boost performance and increase management compensation.

Other Concerns by Financial Advisers
Some financial advisory don’t think that requiring more disclosures of a fund’s holdings is a good idea. They contend that overwhelming information can lead investors to losing their long-term focus and becoming obsessed with fund trading. The advantage of having accessible information as claimed by some investors may be overblown. They also observe that people who are trading stocks and looking for ideas are more interested in getting a first look at a fund’s holdings.

Amid all the conflicting viewpoints, some mutual fund companies are stepping up to make more frequent disclosures on their portfolio holdings. More quarterly updates are now available, with monthly reports on top holdings. To the delight of some investors, a fund named OpenFund lets investors view active trading on its website, while others post weekly trading commentaries by fund managers. A standard monthly reporting ought to be possible if the idea of leaving out sensible trading information is made to consensus.

What happened to the stock market today?

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Stock Market Technicals

market technicals

I’ve been warning many of my readers that the stock market will take a dive very soon and from the looks of the last few days, that time has come. If you look at stock market technicals, you are aware that the DOW at a level of 7550.00 is a level that would cause many sell-offs to happen.
Today’s lows of the DOW was 7551.01, which came very close, but not to the point where the sell off would have occurred.
I said it before and I’ll say it again, you need to keep plenty of money on the sidelines for times like these when the prices for stocks in good companies are at a great “sale” price. These companies are not damaged, just the stock prices are. You need to be ready to take advantage of these buying opportunities to help grow your portfolio during a bad economic down-turn.
For those of you that have had patience over the last month or so, this just might be the time for you to jump in and build a good solid position in the companies that you’ve been watching. I’ve been holding back in jumping in with both feet and with the stock market down at these levels, it’s hard not to just dive in head first. Of course I won’t involve my emotions in the markets.
Who knows where the markets will be in a month or two from now. Especially with the fact that Obama’s stimulus plan hasn’t really been accepted by Wall Street and Main Street. On the news of the plan being approved, the Dow has dropped quite a bit. The markets can hit that crucial level of 7550 and all bets will be off, the sell off will begin and it won’t stop until it get to about 7300 basis points. Then again it may just take back off to the 9000 level just like it did not too long ago.
No matter what, the rest of 2009 is going to be a total washout and the only way to get your portfolio to grow is to make trades when the time is right and then get out while the getting is good. Either way the market may go either way over the next couple of days, you should keep an old saying in mind, ” hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”. This way you’ll be ready without being disappointed.

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Post Election Stock Market

Now that Barack Obama has been sworn into office as the 44th President, it’s time for him to get down to business and start doing the job that he’s been running for for the last two years. Who know if he’s really going to turn this economy around, but time will tell.
On the day he took office, the stock market had it’s worse inaugural day of trading in history. The DOW fell 332 points. It started off bad right after Nancy Pelosi made statements about putting certain taxes in place. It did come back a little bit, but never was able to break even at any point of the day.
Obama was sworn in at 12:00pm eastern standard time and then proceeded to make a speech that didn’t give any confidence to the markets. Unfortunately I don’t think his first week in office will do any good for the markets. I expect the market to drop quite a bit more before it has a turn for the better. The DOW closed below 8000 points on this historic day (in more way than one).
Be cautious with any trades this week until we see some strength in the markets.
We will have to wait and see what happens to the rest of the TARP money. It looks like there will be a lot of bickering in Washington before the money will be put to use. So like I said, be careful with your trades. If things go south over the next week, we’ll be able to pick up some beaten stocks at some great prices.
Happy Trading.

Stock Market Research Could Pay Off In The Coming ...

It’s only a couple of days before President Bush leaves office and Barack Obama takes over. Typically the stock market have improve to some extent when the new President takes charge, but what are we to expect when it’s Obama’s turn? If you follow this blog on a regular basis, you’d know that doing some stock market research will help you prepare for what’s to come in the next month.
Obama has been working on his stimulus plan for when he takes office. He’s spoken about the infrastructure needs to stimulate the economy. When a politician talks about infrastructure, he basically is referring to roads, public transportation and things of that nature. It seems that Obama’s plan is more in line to boost the green energy sector to help remove our dependency of foreign oil and to reduse green house gases.
If that’s the case, then we need to focus on some stocks that could benefit from that type of stimulus plan. From what I can tell he hasn’t really spoken to T.Boone Pickins for some advice on what this country needs to do to remove that dependency. I’m incline to think that Natural gas may not be something the Obama is looking towards to help that along. I will say though that Natural gas has made some nice gains in the last week or two. I have been invested in natural gas for sometime and have prospered from those gains and taken some profits in it, but I do hold some interest in a company that should continue to grow.
What about solar, wind and nuclear energy? I think in each of these areas that there are some stocks that will benefit from the stimulus plan that will most likely pass once Obama is in office. My advice is to look at the leaders of each of those areas and do your research to see if they can make some gains from the plan.
The only stock that I will recommend at this time would be a company that I’ve spoken about before on this blog. The company has basically bottomed in the last month or so and I have jumped in and out of it a few times with some good gains.
The company is Quanta Services Inc. This company will prosper from the plan in couple of different ways. It’s a infrastructure construction company that focuses on alternative energy. It has a strong balance sheet as well as some good guidance for the coming quarter and fiscal year. It’s presence in the alternative energy sector is also strong.
As always, I will tell you to do your own research to see if this trade is right for you. Later this week I’ll have another suggestion for you portfolio.
Happy trading.

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Investing Mistakes To Watch In 2009

Hello everyone. Are you ready for 2009? Now that we can put 2008 behind us and hopefully all the issues that went along with it, let’s get to some good trading for the new year. Like last year we want to limit the investing mistakes that can easily happen if you’re not careful. So let’s look at what we can avoid to help us in the new year.

The number one mistake that people make and if you were one of the millions that lost money last year, you just might be thinking of doing this. The biggest mistake that you can do is to not invest at all. Sitting on the sidelines watching it happen while no investing is number one mistake. Even if you can invest $20 a week, it’s better than nothing at all.

The longer you put off investing, the less you’ll have when it’s time to retire. Of course you have to have your current financial situation in order, but once that’s done, you have no excuse not to be investing.

Another mistake that people make when investing is they try to get rich quick. Let’s get one thing straight, trying to get rich quick is not investing, it’s gambling. If you want to gamble, go to Vegas. Investing is a long time strategy not a quick fix approach to financial security.

Mistake number three is putting all of your eggs in one basket. If you want to invest, you need to spread the capital around in different areas of the markets as well as different vehicles (i.e. stocks, bonds, CDs etc.). Doing so will help keep you from losing any of you money in one big sweep. Stocks and other types of investment vehicles will go up and down, but not all of them will go in the same direction at once.

Collectibles are not investments. Yes, the first issue of Spiderman is worth a lot of money, but it won’t grow all that much in the future. Don’t expect to sell it to help your kids through college.

I hope that these tips will help you in the coming year. Be patient and happy trading.

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Merry Christmas To All

It’s that time of year again where everyone is to have happy thoughts and share time together with their family and loved ones. Christmas is suppose to be a happy time, but with the way the economy is, it hard to stay positive and enjoy the season.
I’m basically a positive and generally a happy person. I would like my readers to try to be the same way while these times are upon us. Yes, we lost money this year or at best didn’t make as much as usual, but most of us still have our health and all the read this are still alive. So try to think of happy thoughts and remain positive.
The stock market will turn around in 2009 and we will get past this financial crisis as well as all the other things that has happen.
I want to wish all of my readers a merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. I thank you for being a part of this blog for the last five months as I prepare to build on what foundation I’ve laid during that time. Without you this blog wouldn’t have come as far as it did. With your continued support this site will only get better.
Thank you once again and have a save and happy holiday.

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